Stockholm and Sigulda have Olympic dream dashed

Hopes that Sigulda in Latvia could become an Olympic venue were dashed June 24 when Olympic officials chose Italy's Milan and Cortina as the hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympic games at a meeting in Switzerland.

The vote was fairly close with 47 choosing the Italian bid and 34 opting for the Swedish bid that included Sigulda, which would have hosted sliding sports - luge, skeleton and bobsled - at its famous track.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said: “Congratulations to Milan-Cortina. We can look forward to outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country. The passion and knowledge of Italian fans, together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world. The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment... I also want to thank Stockholm-Åre for presenting an excellent candidature and being part of the Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026.”

The IOC Session decision means Milan-Cortina will also host the Paralympic Winter Games 2026.

Latvian Olympic Committee chairman Aldons Vrubļevskis said that there would be talks with the Swedish representatives about whether they would apply for the 2030 Winter Olympics, though he also suggested the failure of the bid was partially because the contract for the games would be signed with the Swedish town of Are, and not Stockholm itself.

Vrublevskis also said he hoped development of the Sigulda facilities would go ahead.

"It is important that the Sigulda track has international races in the long term. I hope that Sigulda will not sit on its hands and the growing population will necessitate the expansion of the housing stock, that is, to build the Olympic village that was planned for the Olympics. Development of the track will happen in any case, though maybe not as fast as would have been the case if the Olympic Games took place in Sigulda in 2026," said Vrublevskis.

You can watch a video of the announcement above.

 

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